Monday, July 11, 2011
The Kindling Theory Of Bipolar Disorder
Posted by Mark Vasey
If you want to start a fire you need kindling in the form of a flammable material in order to light the main fuel of the fire, and create a long lasting fire. The more kindling that occurs, the faster and stronger the fire will grow, and it will be harder to put out. What exactly does this have to do with Bipolar Disorder? This is the idea behind the Kindling Theory of Bipolar Disorder. This theory is based on the idea that a stressful situation leads to the first bipolar episode whether it be manic or depressive. The Bipolar Disorder starts growing like the kindled fire, and if it is not treated more episodes will occur making the bipolar episodes more frequent and also more severe. The kindling theory would help to explain why bipolar episodes get worse over time. It would also explain why many people with Bipolar Disorder have less severe symptoms before their first major episode. However, it fails to explain why some people can go into remission for extended periods of time before their next episode. It also fails to explain why people who are treated early would go on to have severe episodes. In my opinion, the kindling theory explains some aspects of Bipolar Disorder, but not everything. If the kindling theory is even partly correct, it is a major reason to push for more awareness and early diagnosis's of Bipolar Disorder because the longer the time before the bipolar diagnosis, the harder the Bipolar Disorder will be to treat. On average, people with Bipolar Disorder are properly diagnosed 10 years after their first symptoms.